What I'm Seeing Now

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Is The Garage Original To The House?

Once inside and talking about the hideous and sagging framing, my client asked me, "Is the garage original to the house?"

Built in 1955, it was obvious that the roof was original as it tied into the main house roof framing and was exactly the same. 

But the garage had a different "ceiling" if you can call it that and side walls.

I suspected that given what I saw the house originally had a carport, which at some point they closed in, creating the "garage."  But then they closed that in too, and the garage door looked like it had not been used since the 60s!

Looking at the base of the exterior corner it looked to me like they put the wall directly onto the ground!

In some places I could clearly see the edge of the slab.

And the sill plate, the bottom of the framed wall, was resting on the soil right beside it.

All over it has rotten away, was full of termites, sinking into the ground (causing the "garage" walls to look sunken and sagged here and there) and very cute.

Is the garage original?  No way.

They had been using the "garage" also as a "laundry"room, with the dryer apparently venting directly inside and the washing machine likely discharging its gray water under the house!  I could see no way it could attach anywhere into the plumbing inside the house!

This house has the crawl space I could not get into, so my drain diagnosis is based on experience and looking at the plumbing inside the house.  I didn't actually confirm this drainage fact.  But I'm pretty sure!

So, more fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the short sale away!

I have been doing this long enough to say, with a steely voice, that I am no longer surprised.

Well, I was surprised by this one!  We home inspectors will never see it all!

My recommendation:  short sales are often good buys, and attractive to investors.  But don't think that since someone has been living in it (in this case there were renters until very recently) that it has been taken care of or is in decent condition.  ALWAYS get that home inspection!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 33 commentsJay Markanich • May 16 2013 03:39AM

Comments

Makes you wonder if the buyer had an agent or . . . . . .

Of course, it all depends on the price. 

What a house like this says to me is the "home ownership is not dead". 

Rather than pay rent, folks would prefer to own a hovel.  Home maintenance is not uppermost in their minds.

 

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

The is the house where the agent is "representing" both sides of the deal - the bank AND the buyer Lenn!  My client is an investor.  He wants to do what he called "minimal" repairs and rent the house out again.

The appraiser told him there were only about $6K in repairs necessary here!  I said maybe in electrical!  He still has that oil tank issue to deal with!  Oh, and the galvanized plumbing that doesn't allow water to flow...

Oh, and the roof, and the wet sill plate around the back, and the sinking floors, and no insulation above or below the house, and, well, I won't bore you for another hour.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Morning Jay that last photo looks almost like a cesspool.  As the lyrics to the song goes "Another one bites the dust". 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 5 years ago

This one bought the dust a long time ago James, as the termites were biting the wood!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

It is amazing when you walk into a rehab home and the listing agent says it only needs a few items to be done. Your investor makes his list and if we make an offer too many times but it only NEEDS X.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

Jay I was referring to the short sale not happening now.  Sorry I should have explained it better.  Deal killer

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 5 years ago

Raymond - I think that appraiser was blind, but surely out of line, when he capped a repair figure that low.

James - you probably have that right, although I have not heard from my client.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Very interesting,  timber on dirt (no foundation).  The funny thing is the cost of concrete is inexpensive, so to do it right would not have added much to the budget.

Posted by Keith Lawrence, ABR, CDPE, SFR, 203K Specialist (RE/MAX Properties) about 5 years ago

You always come across the most interesting things Jay.  I look forward to reading your blog to see what kind of mess you have found that day!  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 5 years ago

Always get a home inspection regardless! You never know what you're walking into. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) about 5 years ago

They would have had to put in footings Keith, and pull a permit!  Not in the plans probably!

A&J - it is fun!  I think other inspectors are jealous.

Marc - in this case quite a bit!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay you said it all that you will never see it all and will always be surprised with the next one. Well I can tell you that I enjoy read all your surprises and want to thank you for sharing them.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) about 5 years ago

I'd like to think I will never be surprised again Chuck, but I am fooled often!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

There is always a buyer for every house out there. .good or bad

The price of the house is the value. .not the condition

You are right, short sales are most likely not very well maintained. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 5 years ago

Jay, your investor was wise to hire you to do the inspection. Now is he going to take your advice?

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 5 years ago

Lenn in #1 summer cubicle makes good sense in regards to owning anything now a days...As to your inspection and posts, excellent sharing

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 5 years ago

Jay, unfortunately for the sellers, that home may be better just left to the bank especially if it's one of the big ones that took advantage of so many buyers

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 5 years ago

Ah Ha!  An investor buyer with no representation is willing to take their chances buying distressed properties. Their goal is ROI from rent.

NEXT.  Does it meet Health Department requirements for hability to rent????  THAT IS THE CRITICAL TEST.

If he closes on this property, he will OWN the potential OIL CONTAMINATION problem which today can be extremely costly, even a small leak onto ground can bring a county/state (if Virginia) requirement that VERY EXPENSIVE remediation be performed.

BY THE WAY, the buyers for the house on Berlin Pike that you inspected (no electricity) have been working on the house.  I don't believe they've moved in but work is definately being done.  The front stoop is beautiful. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

You can say you've seen it all, then another day starts and off for more adventures! That's why I love this job, I get plenty of laughs all day!

Sincerely, Not jealous in Tampa :-)

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

One factor that buyers needs to consider is the condition of the house. It's always a wise choice to have an inspector to make sure everything is taken care of before you decide to buy the property. 

Posted by Ridhi Raheja, FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan (Movement Mortgage (Illinois)) about 5 years ago

I am sure you are correct Fernando!  Even this little beauty!

Mike - I gave him a report of my observations.  I did not advise him to buy or not to buy!

I did interview and hire a Little Doggie Cam candidate today!  Blog to follow!

Always glad you enjoy them Richie!

Ed - it is a short sale, but bank owned.  I am not sure how that happened, but that was what I was told.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Lenn - I agree completely, and told him he might want to have a lawyer or somebody review stuff.  Don't know what has transpired since however.

Not Jealous In Tampa - liar.  I mean, um, that's good to hear!  And for sure, we do have fun.  Today I had another very small crawl access with a chihuahua living at the house!  For sure I am having another post about a Little Doggie Cam hiree!  Honest Injun!

Ridhi - this house is as is!  It's bank owned!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay -- you mean the bank can ignore the county/state laws and sell without having to remediate the oil problem?  In Washington state, once it was brought up, the current owner would be stuck remediating it before title could be transferred.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 5 years ago

Does the bank know about the oil problem Steven?  How would the state find out?  I ask because I don't know - I am never involved with that end of the deal.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I predict in about 5 years, lots of eye-candy flips will be screaming for new plumbing, new electric and new roofs

Posted by Barb Fischer, San Diego and La Mesa Real Estate (Big Block Realty) about 5 years ago

You are probably right Barb.  But this is not a flip and certainly NOT eye candy!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago
That sounds like quite an investigation to get to the correct, final answer.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 5 years ago

This house was ALL investigation Cheryl!  There was so much it was a bit overwhelming.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Once again, this demonstrates the importance of hiring a competent home inspector.. Also, it should be a "teaching moment" for buyers who think they will save money if they go directly to the seller's agent!  REALLY?

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 5 years ago

Like Lenn says above, this whole circumstance is one disaster after another Joan!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good job picking out a dud Jay--Every buyer needs an competent inspector like you!

Posted by Annette Thor, Residential & Commercial Real Estate Broker in CT (Connecticut Homes and Commercial Fairfield Cty,CT reinct.com) about 5 years ago

Original or not, that one's a nightmare!

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) about 5 years ago

Thanks Annette.  I think the buyers' eyes were really opened by the inspection.

Brad - I have to agree with you!  There was much more about this house too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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